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Rape victim stable, accused show no remorse

Friday December 21, 2012 09:41:22 AM, IANS

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New Delhi: The 23-year-old physiotherapist, who was tortured and raped here by a gang of men four days ago, is stable but doctors warned of infection setting in, while Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said she could be taken abroad, if required.

But as angry protests continued for the third day Thursday in the national capital and in other cities, investigators doubled their efforts to nab the two accused still at large. Teams have fanned out in six states.

Four men, who were arrested earlier for the horrific crime that shook the nation, have, however, not shown any remorse, investigators said.

"They behave like hardened criminals. They have not shown any remorse for the beastly way they behaved with the woman," a policeman questioning the four men, told IANS.

The savage rape and torture occurred Sunday night when the woman and her male friend boarded a private bus, used for ferrying school children, in south Delhi after watching a movie.

Her friend Thursday identified one of the accused Mukesh, younger brother of main accused Ram Singh, as one of the men involved in the gruesome attack.

The woman, however, continued to be critical although doctors in the Safdarjung Hospital said her condition has stabilised and that she was conscious.

"She continues to be in stable condition. She is alert, conscious," B.D. Athani, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, told reporters.

"But there is still a danger of her catching infection," he cautioned.

But, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit assured instant support.

"Her condition is very critical, she has a lot of injuries but if there is a need to take her abroad to treat her and save her life, we will not hesitate," she said.

Describing it as "one of the most tragic incidents" they had ever seen, the doctors said they admire the fighting spirit of the girl.

Calling her a "brave girl", Athani said she had withstood a lot of suffering in the last few days and had undergone two surgeries since her admission Sunday night. On Wednesday doctors conducted a two-hour surgery to remove a section of the intestine that had become gangrenous.

"She is fighting it out. The girl has an immense fighting spirit... needless to say, because today (Thursday) is the fourth day... she has sustained such grievous injury and remained alert and withstood it all," Athani said.

The young woman, who hails from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, has been communicating through notes to her parents.

"The culprits should be punished," she wrote in one note; in another, she enquired after her male friend who had tried to defend her and was beaten, another doctor told IANS.

Doctor said the woman knows there has been massive outpouring of support for her.

"She is aware that MPs, students and women's rights activists have come out and expressed support for her and the whole nation is outraged," the doctor said.

The victim was serving as an intern at a private hospital here.

As the woman continues to be on ventilator and in intensive care unit (ICU), women and men, old and young came out in large numbers, carrying banners, outside the hospital, praying that she recovers fast.

As the evening set in, hundreds of people set out again for India Gate for the second successive day, demanding harsher punishment to the culprits and justice for the victim. Carrying banners, flaming torches and shouting slogans, they expressed anger that two of the accused were still at large.



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